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Narwhal Imperial Stout - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Narwhal Imperial StoutNarwhal Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

3,795 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,795
Reviews: 691
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 9.88%
Wants: 193
Gots: 712 | FT: 38
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.20% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: JohnGalt1 on 10-14-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,795 | Reviews: 691 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of wyatt13
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

wyatt13, Jan 01, 2013
Photo of Shaw
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black, black, black with a short tan head. Looked like oil going into my glass.

Aroma of chocolate, coffee and alcohol.

Big roasted flavors mix with a bit of alcohol. Chocolate and molasses come to mind.

Great body, but then what imperial stout is thin and watery?

A good imperial stout. World class? No, but worth trying.

Shaw, Jan 01, 2013
Photo of djrn2
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

djrn2, Jan 01, 2013
Photo of FriedSlug
5/5  rDev +20.5%

FriedSlug, Jan 01, 2013
Photo of Soneast
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Soneast, Jan 01, 2013
Photo of aflies
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

aflies, Jan 01, 2013
Photo of zbooks
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

zbooks, Jan 01, 2013
Photo of WebGuyMike
4/5  rDev -3.6%

WebGuyMike, Jan 01, 2013
Photo of nitter
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

nitter, Jan 01, 2013
Photo of RedTeflon
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

RedTeflon, Jan 01, 2013
Photo of chefduff2
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

chefduff2, Dec 31, 2012
Photo of Mtooman
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%

Mtooman, Dec 31, 2012
Photo of jucifer1818
4.65/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: poured this one into a thin flute wine glass, and even in its thin glass, this beer will not let any light penetrate its darkness

like the dark and mysterious see of its namesake, this beer is a perfect example of clear total darkness, easily ranking a 40/40 on the beer color scale

apart from its color it has a medium, maybe one finger head, that lasts far longer than one would expect for a beer of this alcohol level
This is exactly what I'm looking for in a stout, and I was going to just give this one a 4.5 on first glance, but I cant see any reason to take off that last bit
I have to give its appearance a perfect score

Smell: The smell is quite subtle to say the last. I am surprised by this, and don't know how to really rate it
on one hand, a beer this extreme, would be VERY hard to make it have such a subtle smell, but on the other hand, I was expecting (and really wanted) something really intense that I could enjoy more
I get very light milk chocolate, light fruits, alcohol boozyness (but very slight boozyness), and a little bit of pear
Its not bad, quite good, but to me feels too reserved for what it is
4/5

Taste: mhhmmmm, this is really really good. This beer tastes like liquified black chocolate. This is almost nothing else to say, with some light fruity flavors to counter its intense roasted chocoaltyness, with an intense dark chocolate bitterness mixed in with strong hoppy bitterness in the after taste

a beer that is very strong and malty, but keeps it from being cloying wit ha perfect hopping that keeps the malt first, and works well with its dark chocolaty bitterness
I can think of noting Id want to change on this beer
5/5

Mouthfeel: Slick, sweet, and very syrupy. It pours like Hersey syrup, yet is much easier to drink
drinkabilty and a heavy imperial stout are not often paired up, but the beer manages to pull it off, and has a delightfully moouthfeel
4.5/

Overall: I'm giving this one a 4.5/5
Its a near perfect beer on all accounts, and a excellent offering from Siera nevada. I can easily see this beer turning into a PERFECT, 5/5 beer, after a good 8-12 months of ageing. Ill be drinking one more bottle for new years, and saving the last two for conditioning, quite possibly for next year to see how its changed over time
Highly, Highly recommend this beer

cheers

jucifer1818, Dec 31, 2012
Photo of mecmd
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

mecmd, Dec 31, 2012
Photo of NeverSettle
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

NeverSettle, Dec 31, 2012
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

best russian imperial stout ive had in as long as i can remember. on tap at j. ryans in syracuse, ny. poured into a pint glass jet black, inky and thick, with very little head at all. the nose is moderately sweet like a milk stout, with all the familiar roasty coffee and unsweetened chocolate malt flavors i am used to in a big heavy stout. somehow the alcohol is also absurdly well hidden from the smell and taste, would never have put this at over 10%. coffee is the first flavor note, but its bitter and short lived. sweeter malt and chocolate flavors come in next, followed by a mellow carolina fres tobacco vibe that sets the whole thing off. maybe not the most complex stout ive ever tasted, but certainly one of the most elegantly put together big stouts out there right now. maybe just shy on the carbonation, but the feel remains light despite that and despite the full body because of a light silky texture to the liquid that just makes this way way way to drinkable for me. what can i say? another hit from sierra nevada.

StonedTrippin, Dec 31, 2012
Photo of buschbeer
4.06/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12 FL. OZ. bottle
Served in a snifter
2012

A - This beer is pitch black. It is topped with a couple inches of mocha head. The is some lacing down the sides of the glass.

S - The aroma consists of anise, dark chocolate, a little alcohol, and some dark fruit.

T - Anise seems to be the main driver in the taste. I pick up a little dark chocolate and black coffee. It has a slightly bitter finish with alcohol in the aftertaste.

M - This beer is about as thick as there is.

O - I love the mouthfeel of this beer. The anise flavor isn't my favorite, but it isn't overpowering. It seemed to have a pronounced hop presence on tap which is not present in this bottle.

buschbeer, Dec 31, 2012
Photo of 2xHops
4/5  rDev -3.6%

2xHops, Dec 31, 2012
Photo of jsulko
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a snifter glass

Pours a very dark black with a chocolate head that disappears rather quickly.

Dark malty smell with a hint of coffee.

Taste is malty with dark chocolate and hints of licorice. Alcohol slightly present on the finish but not in a bad way.

A very drinkable RIS. Disappointed that this is seasonal as I would love to have it as an option year round.

jsulko, Dec 31, 2012
Photo of jlove5
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

jlove5, Dec 31, 2012
Photo of barczar
3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque deep brown with just a hint of garnet highlights and a solid half inch milk chocolate head that slowly dissipates, leaving sheets of lacing.

Dark cherries, plums, raisins, chocolate, and roast malt begin the aroma. Toasted nuts, licorice, and tar add complexity.

Flavor reveals deep roasted malt, dark fruit, and a long, coffee bitter finish. Chocolate is slightly muted, in favor of tart cherries.

Body is thick, viscous, and chewy, with low carbonation. There's astringency at the finish, preceding alcohol warmth.

Probably the thickest beer I've ever consumed. Dark fruit tartness was a bit overpowering. Fairly boozy, as well. Good roast malt character. I'll probably like this better with some age on it.

barczar, Dec 31, 2012
Photo of Lynn
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Lynn, Dec 30, 2012
Photo of hopswap1
4/5  rDev -3.6%

hopswap1, Dec 30, 2012
Photo of Danflurry
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Danflurry, Dec 30, 2012
Photo of mactrail
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

More nearly black than a lot of beers claimed to be black. An unexceptional head but the sudsy mouthfeel is very pleasant.

Sweet in a rich and forgiving way with a distinct smack of licorice. The hops slowly come on the dominate the aftertaste, but it's never overly bitter. Becomes more tart after some sipping and has some pie cherry-like flavors. Grainy but refined, reminds me of really heavy black German bread with some yeasty intrigue. More licorice in the nose. Hints of bitter chocolate and dark nutty roasted flavors. Smooth and creamy without being unctuous.

The first time I tried this I thought it was exceptional. Certainly one of my top favorites in the RIS style. The neck label says "2012" so I hope it will be an annual delight. From the 12 oz four-pack bought at Ibis Market in San Diego.

mactrail, Dec 30, 2012
Narwhal Imperial Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 3,795 ratings.